November 5 - The newly built state of the art Thokoza fire station. Photo: City of Ekurhuleni

Ekurhuleni - The spread of wildfires ravaging communities will now be a thing of the past with the newly built Thokoza fire station set to extinguish them effectively, the City of Ekurhuleni said on Sunday.
 
Ekurhuleni mayoral committee member for community safety Vivienne Chauke officially opened the R50 million state of the art fire station to serve the community of Thokoza and Katlehong on Friday, the city said in a statement.

"It will also respond to [the] high-risk Alrode industrial area which has potentially flammable petrol depots in the vicinity." 
 
The fire station was constructed over two years and provided employment opportunities for 66 local labourers and six local subcontractors. Its presence would also contribute to the general upliftment of the Thokoza area, the city said.
 
“The community must protect and defend this facility. We have spent a lot of money to bring development and employment opportunities for the people of Thokoza. It is therefore important that we look after resources that belong to the community,” Chauke said.
 
The fire station replaced the old smaller structure which had three fire engines and three ambulances. The new structure was fully equipped with a new water tanker, a major pumper, rescue pumper, medium pumper, and four ambulances. There were now five fire engines and four ambulances.
 
This equipment would enable the fire station to respond faster to emergencies and cover a wider area. The fire station also ran community awareness training programmes to empower people to deal with emergencies and practical steps to take in case of fires, the city said.